I promise you will have so much fun with this edible sugar glass recipe. It looks like glass, behaves like glass, but it is candy!
Have you ever seen a movie where a piece of glass was broken over someone’s head? Or maybe it was a beer bottle or another kind of bottle that was broken? Or maybe you saw a person put glass in their mouth and they started chewing it? Chances are it was edible sugar glass. Are you a fan of the TV show Breaking Bad? Blue sugar glass or rock candy was used in that! It is so fun to make and the recipe is easy. You can make all kinds of things with it, movie props, bottles, a variety of candy shapes, or make an edible stained glass window held together with royal icing. You get the idea. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients and tools
In order to make edible sugar glass, you just need a few everyday household ingredients. No fancy ingredients are needed. You will need the following:
- White granulated sugar – Sugar is the main ingredient in sugar glass? Imagine that.
- Corn syrup – Liquid Glucose or corn syrup is used to help keep the sugar from becoming crystals again. It will help to make it more stable.
- Cream of tartar – this is an optional ingredient. But helps turn the sugar into fructose and glucose.
- Food coloring – You will need food coloring to get your desired color or colors
- Flavored Extracts – There are all kinds of flavored extracts that you can use.
- pot or deep skillet
- wooden or silicone spoon
- sheet pan
- kitchen spray or a silicone mat
- candy thermometer (optional)
Step 2: How to make edible sugar glass
To begin, place water, sugar, corn syrup (liquid glucose), and cream of tartar in your pot or deep skillet. While the sugar doesn’t bubble up too high it is always a good idea to have something deep enough. A medium-sized pot works fine for this amount. But I generally just used my dutch oven or my stainless steel skillet.
Step 3: Prepping the pan
Next prepare the pan that you are going to put the hot liquid sugar “syrup” in once it is ready. I use a sheet pan lined with a silicone mat. Or I just spray the pan lightly with kitchen spray. While I do love my silicone mat it will have a texture to that side of it. You can also use something like shortening on your pan.
Step 4: Stirring and heating the sugar
Now place the pot on the stovetop. With the heat set to medium-low gently stir the mixture until it starts to boil. It is important to not heat it up too quickly because the sugar is liable to caramelize. Which if you are making a dark glass it won’t matter. The goal is to heat the sugar mixture to the “hard crack” stage which is around 290 to 300 F (145 to 150 C). If you are using a candy thermometer make sure it still registers the correct heat. My thermometer is old and is several degrees off so I generally just eyeball it.
Once the sugar starts to boil you can stop stirring and just let it sit for 10 to 15 more minutes. Right, when the mixture starts to turn slightly yellow it is ready to go. Another way to tell is to drop a spoonful of it into a bowl with ice-cold water. It will instantly harden up and you can check out easily it breaks.
Don’t be alarmed if it takes awhile. This whole process takes somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes. Here is an example of what it will look like if you let it boil too long or too quickly. It will be a nice amber color. But you can still definitely use it at this phase.
Step 5: Remove the boiling sugar
Once you get the boiling sugar to the proper temperature, remove it from the heat. Then add in your food coloring and any flavored extracts that you want to use. Stir them in really well. The sugar cools quickly and thickens up quickly so you need to work fairly fast.
But BE CAREFUL this sugar syrup is extremely hot and will burn you if you touch it. If you are a young person please make sure you have adult supervision when making this.
Step 6: Pour and wait
Next, pour the hot sugar onto your prepared pan. If you want to make a pane of glass that will break when someone punches it or to hit someone over the head with it, make sure to pour it thin. Spread it out if necessary. Make sure the pan is level as well. Then wait until it hardens up. It usually takes an hour or two.
An optional step would be to pour the hot sugar into silicone molds. I have made some sugar glass lego men which were awesome! If you are going to go that route I recommend making a smaller batch and using a smaller pot, it will just make it easier to get into the mold.
Step 7: Check out your awesome edible sugar glass
Once your edible sugar glass has cooled it is ready to play with. It looks like glass, it behaves like glass, breaks like glass, but it is definitely candy! Oh and more thing it is sharp like glass! So be careful. Use a mallet or something to crack that glass.
Step 8: Breaking Bad blue edible sugar glass and others
Any Breaking Bad fans? Instead of using the candy thermometer I took this batch off the stove right when it barely started to turn color. The blue food coloring worked perfectly. Doesn’t this look awesome?
Or if you don’t want to color it at all you can leave it as is and get a nice clear glass.
What if I burn my sugar can I still use it?
Yes! If you happen to walk away and come back and find that your sugar has gone beyond that hard crack phase and it looks burnt and smells burnt. You can still use it!
How do I store sugar glass?
Generally, it is best to use it within a few hours if it is in sheets. Because it can tend to warp as time goes on. I normally will just put the pieces in a ziplock bag and put them in my pantry. They can stick to each other though.
How does sugar glass taste?
Sugar glass tastes very similar to a jolly rancher if you have ever tried one of those, depending on the flavor used. It melts very easily in your mouth. Homemade lollipops anyone?
Edible Sugar Glass
- Pot or deep skillet
- Wooden or Silicone spoon
- sheet pan
- kitchen spray or a silicone mat
- Candy Thermometer
- 2 cups white granulated sugar 450g
- 1 cup of corn syrup Karo syrup (300g)
- 1/2 to 1 cup water 125 to 250ml
- pinch of cream of tartar optional
- 1 – 2 tbsp food coloring use as much as you want to get the desired color
- 1 – 2 tsp flavored extracts
- Prepare a sheet pan with a silicone mat or spray it lightly with cooking spray.
- Add the water, sugar, corn syrup, and cream of tartar into your pot or skillet
- Add the pot to the stovetop. Set the heat to medium-low and heat up the mixture. Gently stir until the sugar mixture starts to boil. After it boils you can stop stirring.
- Allow the sugar syrup to reach 290 to 300 F (hard crack stage) (145 to 150 C). If you aren't using a candy thermometer right when it starts to turn yellow it is ready to go. You can also check it by dropping a spoonful into a bowl with ice-cold water. It will harder up instantly and then you can check out brittle it is. If it breaks easy it is ready to go.
- Pour the hot sugar syrup onto your prepared pan or use a spoon and spoon it into your silicone molds. You will need to work fairly quickly because it thickens and hardens up fairly quickly.
- Allow it to cool for an hour or two. Then you can smash it! Have fun! 🙂
- ***Be careful when preparing the recipe the sugar gets extremely hot and will burn you. If you are a young person please have adult supervision.
Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.
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Thanks it worked perfectivly
You are so very welcome!! I am glad you tried it out. 🙂
I love your show thank you I’m using it for a science experiment
Thank you so much, Evan!! And that is awesome! The perfect idea for a science experiment. Because anytime you make something like this or rock candy even if you follow the directions exactly it doesn’t always work, because sugar can be finicky, haha, so a great to do. Let me know how it goes! And remember, if you don’t have a candy thermometer, take it off the heat right when the sugar solution starts turning yellow/amber.
Epic fail. Boiled for 20 mins longer than recipe required as it never passed the cold water test. Mixture never even came to a boil until the 32 minute mark. Had the heat on med as per instruction. Still turned out tacky and gluey. What a waste of time and ingredients.
Hi there Ingrid, sorry it didn’t work for you! Did you use a candy thermometer? Ovens/Stovetops are different. It is quite possible your burner isn’t registering the temp it is set to, you can turn it up a little bit more. Once it comes to a boil it needs to boil for quite a while until it reaches around 290 to 300F which is the hard crack stage the 10 to 15 minutes is just an estimate. Or if you don’t have a thermometer, right when it starts to turn yellow/amber. If it was tacky, it means you didn’t boil it long enough. Did you read the full post? In step 4 I mention “Don’t be alarmed if it takes a while, the whole process takes somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes.” (and that is before letting it cool). Sorry, but you can’t rush this. But honestly, I think the only problem is you didn’t let it boil quite long enough. You can try putting it all back in the pot and melting it and bring it to the right temp. So not wasted, unless you already threw it out. Also is it really humid where you live? Humidity is the enemy of hard candy, haha. I have made this many many times, it always works per instruction.
Hi Matt, I did read through everything and was extremely patient. The mixture turned amber almost right away after the boil. By the time I took it off the stove it had been 55 minutes. So I’m thinking I needed a much higher heat. And no sadly I don’t have a thermometer. I will purchase one today and let you know how my next attempt comes out.
You can go as high as medium heat which is about 350 F. In the recipe I use medium-low. 55 minutes isn’t too bad, haha, only 10 minutes longer than the estimated time. But yeah, with hard candy, unfortunately, you just can’t rush it. Good luck on your next attempt. 🙂
Very cool! What if I wanted to lay colored shards of sugar glass on top of a birthday cake to make a stained glass window effect? Would the moisture in the frosting dissolve the sugar or cause the colors to run? Or would it be stable at least for a few hours?
Hi Michelle! Such a fun idea, yes you can do that, it will be stable for at least a few hours. I don’t think the frosting will be too warm to melt it. 🙂 People do similar things for “Frozen” themed cakes and stick the glass in the cake. Let me know how it turns out!
Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! Do you know if you can freeze the candy? I wasn’t sure if freezing would make the candy brittle or crack. Do you know? Thanks so much
You are welcome! yes you should be able to freeze them in freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. 🙂 But I would experiment maybe store a third of the candy glass in the freezer, a third in the pantry, a third in the fridge, and see what works the best for you. Depending on how cool your house temp is, the room temp may be just fine. If possible, layer the candy with parchment paper in between, if the candy is just thrown in the container or back, they will stick to each other, eventually.
Also Thabk you so much for this recipe!!!!!!!!
You are so very welcome! 🙂 🙂
I was just thinking of making so kind of decoration for my cupcakes so i used this and it worked really well. (P.S I am 13 an love to bake!!!!!!!!!!)
That is so awesome, Adrianna! I am glad you tried it and liked it. I got my start when I was young as well. Keep it up!! 🙂
Hi, Thanks for this precise and easy to follow recipe. The ice has turned out perfect although I may have made it a little thick. I poured some on the pan the natural colour, then mixed a little blue in the rest and gently swirled it in then added some edible sparkles. Thank you x
You are welcome, Caroline! I am so glad you tried it. 🙂
Hey Matt! Love the recipe I’m going to give it a try today and add in a
3oz jello package for color and flavor. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂
Thank you, Heather! Awesome, I can’t wait to hear how it turned out.
If I do half of the recipe will it still work?
Yep, that will still work. 🙂
Sugar glass recipe worked perfectly for gingerbread houses, thank you
You are very welcome, Christine! I am so glad you made it. 🙂
Thank you so much, Jill!! 🙂
Hi Matt, Quick question, recipe calls for water, 1/2 to 1 cup, why not an more exact measurement? I read through your instructions preceding the recipe and I didn’t see an explanation. Thank you.
Hello Jill! It really doesn’t matter the amount of water, it will boil off. So in this case I was making a point you don’t have to be exact with the water measurement. 🙂
Hi again Matt,
First, I want to say your recipe is absolutely perfect! I cut it in half this time because I wanted to make waves for a cake I am making and it was perfect. I needed to shape the sugar when it finished cooking and the results were so amazing.
I will attempt to download some pics tomorrow after I finish the cake. Thank you so much!
Hello, Jill! That is so awesome, very creative making waves with it! 🙂 You are so very welcome. 🙂
Don’t forget to adjust for high altitude it is extremely important you can find a chart for that on Google. Your candy will be ruined if you cook it to 300° per your thermometer I am at 8500 feet and I pulled it at 270 and it was perfect
Hi Kim! Thanks for the reminder. While I mention the thermometer in there, most of the time I go by eyesight, right when it starts turning color. Plus, thermometers lose their accuracy over time, haha. I mention that about the thermometer in there, to make sure it still registers at the correct heat, haha. And of course, testing it in ice-cold water is also a great way to test it, if someone doesn’t have a thermometer, which works at high altitude as well. Glad you tried it. 8500 feet, awesome. Where are you located?
came out wonderfully! Just one question, any advice on cutting down on the amount of bubbles that end up in the finished, hardened product? I tried using a torch on very low heat but ended up just making more, smaller bubbles in the process.
Awesome, Hayden, I am glad you were successful! Those pesky bubbles are very common. Have you tried using a silicone mat underneath? that may help. Or did you go right onto a pan? Also, the number of bubbles maybe do to stirring. Did you see a bunch of bubbles after you poured it onto the pan, or did they show up later while cooling? Another thing you can try is when you take it off the heat, allow it to cool in the pot a bit and see if the bubbles subside. You pan also tap the pan gently on the counter with the sugar solution in it, to help dissipate the bubbles. Let me know how it goes the next time!
Can I substitute golden syrup for corn syrup? I am allergic to wheat and corn.
Hi Jennifer, I haven’t tried golden syrup in this recipe, but I am thinking it will be fine. If not, you can just leave it out altogether, but it won’t make as good of a candy/glass.
Tried 3 different versions. 4th attempt was with your easy to follow directions! Came out perfect. Thank you for sharing!
So happy you didn’t stop trying, and tried this recipe! 🙂 Glad you were successful, Cecelia. 🙂
This is an amazing recipe
Thank you so much, Anna!
Just poured the glass and now waiting for the cooling process. Noticed that my glass is wrinkling in the surface, not smooth like it was when I poured it? Any ideas?
Hello Tori! mmm that is weird, I have never run into that problem before. Let me know how it winds up when completely cooled. How wrinkled is it? Did you let it cool down slowly like at room temp? Or put it in the fridge?
Hi I prepared this…but it melted in no time…could you please let me know why this happened
It sounds like you didn’t let it boil long enough, it didn’t get to the right temp.
Thanks for the recipe! Will these sit in cupcakes ok? Hoping to make the glass for a bloody cupcake. Thank you!
You are welcome! Yes! These will sit great in cupcakes, and perfect for a bloody cupcake. 🙂